The commander of the Quds Force, Esmail Qaani, has renewed threats of retaliation against Washington over the assassination of his predecessor, Qassem Soleimani, asserting that it will be done on US soil.
Qaani said that his troops had already initiated their operations to avenge Soleimani’s death, adding that they will soon reach “endpoint.”
Speaking during a ceremony in Soleimani’s hometown, Kerman, Qaani advised US officials to stay indoors, warning that the revenge has begun, according to local media.
He also vowed to launch cyber-attacks against the US.
Hours before Qaani’s comments, the FBI launched a special investigation into the violation of the air traffic control system in New York, after a threat was made this week to fly planes into the US Capitol.
The anonymous threat claimed the attack would be a vengeance for the US killing of Soleimani and will be executed on the same day Congress was set to count the Electoral College results.
The FBI said it takes “all threats of violence to public safety seriously.”
The Federal Aviation Administration said it is in contact with law enforcement to ensure the safety of civil aviation.
Multiple sources indicated that the threat does not seem credible, and it is not clear who sent it.
CBS News, which was the first to report the news, revealed an audio clip sent Monday evening to a number of air traffic control towers in New York, threatening to strike the Capitol building.
“We are flying a plane into the Capitol on Wednesday. Soleimani will be avenged,” said the recording.
The government does not believe the warning of an attack is credible and it is being investigated as a breach of aviation frequencies, according to state sources.
CBS reported a meeting between the Pentagon and other agencies to discuss the digitized voice recording.
Officials are concerned over aviation safety and air navigation because the penetration of the control towers and the frequencies used to guide pilots may present a threat in the future.
Air traffic controllers were asked to report immediately any threat or a plane deviating from its flight path.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Bloomberg that the US is ready to deal with any Iranian aggression.
Pompeo revealed Iranian officials’ daily talk about an attack on the US, threatening the President, himself, and other senior leaders of the US government.
“They threaten Israel nearly daily. Yes, we’re on guard. We’re always ready.”
Meanwhile, Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami said that Iran has strong evidence of Israel’s involvement in the assassination of top Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Hatami sent a letter to 60 defense ministers worldwide requesting they condemn “the Zionist regime” for the “inhumane, illegitimate and criminal move.”
He warned that the lack of response from the international community could lead to an Iranian response to the assassination, which might undermine the regional and world stability.
Fakhrizadeh, long suspected by the West of masterminding Iran’s nuclear program, was killed in an ambush near Tehran last year.